The effect of vasopressin infusion on glucose metabolism in man

Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1985 Apr;22(4):463-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.1985.tb00145.x.


Studies on intact animals and isolated rat hepatocytes have shown that arginine vasopression (AVP) stimulates glycogen phosphorylase to break down glycogen and raise plasma glucose concentrations. Since no similar work has been performed on healthy human adults, the effect of moderate (25 pmol/min) and high (75 pmol/min) dose AVP infusion on plasma glucose, intermediary metabolites, glucose kinetics, and circulating glucagon and insulin concentrations was investigated. After AVP infusion, plasma glucose rose from 4.9 +/- 0.1 to a peak of 5.7 +/- 0.2 mmol/l (P less than 0.001), but no changes in blood lactate, pyruvate, alanine, glycerol or 3-hydroxybutyrate concentrations were observed. The glucose rise was accounted for entirely by an increase in the rate of appearance of glucose from 11.19 +/- 0.43 to 13.38 +/- 0.63 mu mol/kg/min (P less than 0.001). Infusion of AVP also increased plasma glucagon concentrations from 38 +/- 8 to 79 +/- 20 pg/l (P less than 0.01). The hyperglycaemic effect of AVP may be mediated solely by stimulation of glucagon release, but we cannot exclude direct stimulation of glycogen phosphorylase activity.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arginine Vasopressin / administration & dosage*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glucagon / blood
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Insulin / blood
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Arginine Vasopressin
  • Glucagon